March Me (to Spring)+

(Wednesday, March 1, 2017)


     Following along the usual patterns of each year, I found myself today suddenly slipping from the edge of February and into a deep and elusive March.  Spring is just around the corner, spools of cool and warm air move in and out – trying to decide when we will feel the arrival of the Equinox and its seasonal (and in SoCal, somewhat eternal) warm breeze. It never quite goes away, but March brings a reminder that we are tired of the frosty repetition.  Tired of our brittle crust, static cling and chapped lips.  Ready for moisture, warmth and light.  The evidence is there..

Birthday tulips, sunrise palms, afternoon branches and dog walk shadows.
Golden hour peaks during Spring and Fall and oh how I love it so….

+So up until this point I’ve managed to be thoughtful and poignant.  Now I am lost.  I want to bring up my real life and what’s been happening, but as usual I feel hesitant.  I feel busy.  I feel tired.  I want to share, but it’s become apparent that I was once a great writer, but maybe not so much anymore.  I’ll tell you what I’m really good at – work emails.  Succinct and to the point, demanding but still nice.  I try to write a blog and I’ll I can recall are facts and no creativity.  I thought of it all before, on the way to work or on the way home, but as soon as I get here – I lose it.  It’s hard to find those creative moments and when I do, I usually “don’t have time”. Or I’m just tired and my brain has shut off.

I’m so tired of people being busy.  Is it just me?  That’s life, you say.  So WHAT, I say.  I’m fuckin busy but I still make time for people.  They just don’t make time for me.  I keep thinking that if your life is all about some job (and it always is), then how do you really have a life?  Work hard until you’re 50 until it finally pays off?  Work hard until it never pays off and you have a heart attack and die or decide to sit on a sidewalk curb for the rest of your days?  I feel like the main struggle I have sometimes is just to try and not be a shitty person because of my own personal needs for my well-being.

We have to take care of ourselves, but then we also have to give, give, give.  I don’t know about you, but I’m not a giver.  I don’t even know what I am anymore.  People seem to like me, a lot, but I’m always lacking in true friendships (or just someone that will give me their time).  I give at work as much as I can, but even then – I find myself thinking that I wouldn’t be doing this unless I had to.  I have to think about everyone else and their needs and foresee future priorities and shit, and so it’s no wonder my personal life gets the shit end of the stick.  I don’t have time to send cards and gifts in the mail – also gifts that are thoughtful and super relevant.  I can clean and wash dishes and make everything tidy AF, but in the end people really don’t seem to care about that.  But I do, care.

My creative work is important, but so I can make a paycheck I feel like I’m abandoning the creative person I really could be.  And while this seems very sad (to me, at least), I know that in life you have to make sacrifices.  You have to deal with people not noticing you until you stir up the pot enough to make a difference.  Or stir it up enough with controversy and you have no choice but to choose the path you were to afraid to choose in the first place.

If I didn’t have Eddie I’d probably be living back in Santa Cruz under a rock.

Silver lining.

It’s just one of those days where I finally chose to write about the things I’ve been thinking about.  Constantly.  I’m always contemplating life and if I chose the right path for me.  And feeling like the path I’m currently on isn’t that easy to side-step anymore.  As much as I want to go off the beaten path, I can’t.
Not yet.

+

ashw

February Me

(Thursday, February 2, 2017)


rah-hearts1-web
Moi – February 2016

Oh hey, I guess those endorphins wore off a bit.  That and my life (and yours and theirs and ours) is being drained by political overload.  But, it’s not just political anymore.  Decisions are being made that are starting to paint a vivid picture of how America is truly divided by morals vs. self advantage.  I understand that, in life, we have to sometimes stop and put ourselves first.  Because it’s the only way to save your sanity.  Because giving too much of yourself can waste you away.  But even though I understand that, doesn’t mean I do not feel for those that are directly affected by what’s going on in this country.  And I AM someone affected by what’s going on.  Emotionally, personally, and by association.  There are too many parallels to past histories of different countries who succumbed to a leader not fit for the role they managed to obtain.

So.

While I have been engrossed in political banter, conversation and social media news shocks since he got elected – recently I chose to shut it off for a while.  Not a long while, but enough to regain a small sense of peace.  And then I started to focus on the lighthearted things that I could post to break up the newsfeed.  But I also hate the fact that some of those just remain completely silent about politics.  I can’t stay quiet.  Not when so many things are going so wrong, and one man stands at the top of it saying one dumb thing after another.  Big.  Huge.  Great. Take away.  Ban. Wall. Pussies. Nope.  Nope nope nope. What the fuck is going on, my fellow Americans.

Well, there’s this:

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And this:

–> Agent Orange <–
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So a couple of things that make me feel a slice better.

Let’s make it a great Friday, y’all.

The Morphine Within

(Tuesday, January 17, 2017)


Hey hey HEYyyyy, whaddya sayyyy…

I’m back again which makes it another dayyyy… in the books for blogging!  Ha!

I’m currently running on a very intense endorphins euphoria.  Pardon my positivity.  Is it radiating out of my fingertips in the way I write so many more letters than necessary?  I tend to do that when I’m excited.

I just worked out.. for the 4TH DAY IN A ROW.  And not only that, I’ve extended all my workouts by at least 20-30 minutes making each workout almost a full hour.  Warmup, cardio, strength exercises, yoga and stretching.  Not to mention the 15 minute hot spa shower to soothe my aching muscles.  There’s nothing better than when that runner’s euphoria sets in.  When it’s a really good run, like it starts out really well (no sciatica funkiness slowing me down), it takes just about 5 minutes of non-stop running to hit my high.  And when it hits, well – it’s endorphin-induced euphoria.

“Endorphins are long chains of amino acids, or polypeptides,
that are able to bind to the neuroreceptors in the brain and are
capable of relieving pain in a manner similar to that of morphine.
There are three major types of endorphins: beta-endorphins are
found almost entirely in the pituitary gland, while enkephalins
and dynorphins are both distributed throughout the nervous system.
Scientists had suspected that analgesic opiates, such as morphine
and heroin, worked effectively against pain because the body
had receptors that were activated by such drugs. They reasoned
that these receptors probably existed because the body itself
had natural painkilling compounds that also bonded to those
receptors. When scientists in the 1970s isolated a biochemical

from a pituitary gland hormone that showed analgesic properties,
Choh Li, a chemist from Berkeley, California, named it endorphin,
meaning “the morphine within.”
Besides behaving as a pain reducer,
endorphins are also thought to be connected to euphoric feelings,
appetite modulation, and the release of sex hormones. Prolonged,
continuous exercise contributes to an increased production of
endorphins and, in some people, the subsequent runner’s high’.”

That’s AMAZING.  I already knew this, except for the Morphine part.  Like, that’s kind of intense but puts the “Runner’s High” into such a perspective (especially for those who just don’t get it, and obviously hate running). When my 5 minutes hit tonight, a tingling sensation started at the base of my head and neck and just spread through my brain and into my shoulders and arms.  It was such a good feeling, I started to run faster just to keep the sensation going.  This time was also more intense than usual, since most of the time I don’t really push myself.  Using the treadmill at the gym has allowed me to push myself and not worry about the dangers of running on street pavement in a busy city.

By the way – everything I did in my workouts was pretty much free of extra weights or paying extra money for classes.  I’ve always known what I need to do to really lose weight, but it’s been hard to get motivated.  Now that Eddie is really in this with me, it’s easier to keep going and push myself.  We’ve been walking Buffy almost every day, right after work, which has been a huge step in getting back to running again.  So as of last weekend, I decided to do the walk, THEN go to the gym to get 15-20 minutes of running in.  Once I’m done there, I go home and spend time slowly stretching and doing strength exercises, and incorporating yoga here and there along the way.  And the hot spa?  It’s just a hot shower after the workout to soothe my muscles.  All of this combined, really fucking works. 

AND – I eat better, sleep better, think better and let’s face it – I behave better, too.  I’ve been down this road before, but this time it really needs to stick.  I know I’m lucky to understand the runner’s high and really crave it.  Now that I can move again, and my sciatica problem is almost gone, there’s no excuse.

Also – nothing like having a wedding dress fitting to really put your weight and health into perspective.  That happened last weekend, but I’m glad it did.  One year and three months until Eddie and I get hitched, and I want us to be our best selves – mentally and physically.  2017 – watch out!

giphy

My Kind of Monday

(Monday, January 16, 2017)



“We are wasting and degrading human life by clinging to archaic thinking.”

~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

mlk


I am a history buff, of sorts.  I cannot let a day like this go by and not recognize the impact of a person such as Dr. King.  I cannot forget the one time I visited Washington D.C. when I was 16 years old and could not ignore the history that literally pulsed through me as I made my way through the city.  I’ve stood on those steps and walked by that reflecting pool and scoured the Vietnam Memorial wall that hides just behind those trees.  Even now, I tear up a bit thinking about this city and it’s history – and MLK’s part in it all.  It very powerful to me, to feel the energy of this history that happened long ago, but continues to be relevant today.

Happy Birthday, MLK.  Rest in Peace.


I have the day off from work today, which made it a three day weekend.  I pried myself out of bed by 7:40am and moved slowly out of the house with Buffy by 7:48am to go on our walk.  We gained momentum on the walk, despite my random stops to take photos.  It was a chilly morning, but blue skies and a warm sun cast long shadows and lit up tree leaves and flowers along our way.  I took Buffy off her leash on an overpass to take photos and she ran back and forth, tongue hanging out, happy panting.  My favorite.

I was sore from exercising the day before, so I did less strength exercises (but I did them).  I could feel myself moving slow and kept thinking about my coffee I’d get later on that morning.  But first, a hot shower and beauty session.  The only way to start my day, including that coveted coffee that would pave my day for greatness.  Afterwards, though, I was still moving slow.  I could have slept more that morning, but I didn’t.  I could have schlepped on the couch instead of getting my coffee, going to the store and going through photos/writing on this blog, and making/receiving two phone calls (to my dad, from friend).  My Christmas present is open on purpose and waiting for me to use it – a large, wooden art case filled with freshly sharpened colored pencils, ripe pastels and unopened tubes of acrylic and watercolor paints.  This case has parts that pull out and reveal more goodies underneath.  I have so many coloring books to go through and my right brain is exploding with euphoric artgasms.

Anyway.

I have a friend coming over.

That’s all for now, but I have high hopes for a check-in tomorrow..  til then.  Over and out.

If You Oppose, I Will Always Listen (Things that Need to be Said)

(Monday, January 9, 2017)

Welp –  as much as I had hopes for 2017, many of those hopes are slowly being pulled through the crack in the doorframe.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure it will be fine, but I have yet to find some time to myself in 2017 and really, it’s draining AF.

Quick reminder – AF = “as fuck” and I’m SO keeping this figurative phrase that got ever so popular last year, but it will so heavily apply to this year.  And as we all know, these things take a while to fade.

Here’s the real deal, for me, myself and I – don’t forget what you focused on in the last year.  Taking time for yourself, not over-stressing, over-working, and TRY not to overthink the inevitable.

Today, I read a lot of things about Trump.  (And side note – I’ve gone down this rabbit hole before – this is nothing new, but was inevitably leading to a post about this shit).  They really upset me.  I answered a phone call shortly after with “Hi.”  A literal Hi with a period, which in human sub context means “why the fuck are you calling, you don’t even deserve a question mark, Hi.”  Like I don’t even want to give you one now.  I just don’t want to ask questions because I hate answers.  I hate ALL the answers.  I hate reading endless comments about pro-Trump or anti-Trump and feeling endlessly confused, but only certain that this country is confused and it needs to get its head on straight.

There are SO many good arguments, anti-Trump.  I have yet to read anything pro-Trump that makes me thing anything decent about this president elect and its followers.  My bottom lines is – I cannot support someone I cannot respect.  Plain and simple.  This feels like Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  It can’t get any worse, and it makes my bad days feel worse.  I feel for many, but oppose a staggering number of the United States population, and am naturally left to wonder – where will it leave us?

I’ve waited almost two months to address this shitWhy?  Because I don’t need the “answers” I’ll get. Whether they are trying to persuade me or prove a point, I don’t want to hear them.  But I had to say something.  The only way I was going to rectify my blog year was to speak up about what’s on my fucking mind.  A lot of things are on my mind, but this is been brewing in the depths of my stomach for a while and I just can’t seem to write anything, if it’s not the truth – and if it’s not avoiding something that I just can’t get past.  It just sits and breeds within my gut, unless I choose to do something about it.  I’m finding my willpower against myself has always been somewhat varied – and weak against itself.  Why are we as human beings so weak against ourselves?  Why HAVE we been so weak?  As strong as we like to appear to be, I think many of us weaken under mental condemnation.  Now more than ever..

So YOU – don’t just take my word for it.  How do you feel about what I am saying?  What research have you done to fully understand what it is I’m expressing?  I’m asking questions now, only to provoke your thought.  Not your words, unless your thought leads you to an enforced to desire to speak/write your thoughts to me.  Because you will not sway me – not on this issue at hand.  But I do want to hear you speak.  As bad as it will make my day, if you oppose, I will always listen.  If you something to say, I will try to understand it as best I can.  Just like you read this post to try and understand me.  That’s all I can ask.

My hopes for 2017 are fairly simple when it comes to explaining in one sentence – I want to understand and enhance the essence of my art, my work and my relationships.  This is not specific to 2017, but to my life in general.  Infinite wisdom may not be possible, but the infinite path to wisdom is.. don’t forget to keep asking questions, even if they’re without a question mark.

Slow Like Honey

(Tuesday – January 3, 2017)

I really can’t say where the time has gone.  2016 was literally the fastest moving year of my life.  I blinked, and it was over.  In a way I’m grateful – I remember often wishing time would move faster, when I was younger.  But I’m also worried.  Worried I’m missing something important..

And then we have this blog – a digital time capsule which I’ve neglected for the last 4 months.  FOUR months!  That’s probably the longest blog break I’ve taken in a long time, but I definitely wasn’t sitting around on the couch.  Okay – maybe sometimes I was.  But give a girl a break – I was working my day job for 40 hours a week and spending at least one day on my weekend devoting myself to photography of some sort.  Weddings, engagements, holiday parties, family sessions, etc.  I was burning the candle at both ends, only to find myself a day off and feel completely useless for 24 hours until I had to go back to work.  Or take the dog for a walk, or wash dishes, or clean the house, or run errands… even a day off didn’t feel like a day off.

And I wonder why I feel guilty when I take naps.

So 2017, huh?  A lot of people were ready to throw 2016 out with the trash.  So many beloved celebrities died, a new political reign is dividing the country, and it leaves many wondering what humanity is really made of.  What our future is made of.  It gets more and more questionable everyday, so as much as we want to leave 2016 behind – we were still holding onto its tail a bit tightly as the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve.  Los Angeles was a bit of a ghost town, almost as if this new year wasn’t a year to celebrate – but a year to brace for.

In the last year I’ve made the attempt to slow down.  Stress was building up in my mind and my back and my soul.. I had to learn to say no or at least ask for help when I legit needed it.  I still tend to move at a dizzying pace sometimes, but last year was a year to build upon certain habits.  To move more slowly, more thoughtful.  Still efficient, mind you, but not allowing stress to seep in steadily when I’m not paying attention.  I stretch more, I breathe more, and I’m trying to listen and use my sense of smell more (and I think as an LA local now I realize how many smells I’m trying to block out – but when the place and the wind is just right, I can smell the pure aroma of nature).

It’s a new year, but my goals have not changed.  My constant drive for consistency to heal my wounds and improve myself is my only path of guidance.  I feel I have obtained more positivity in my life over the past couple of years, however dark certain emotions of mine can reach.  This blog is the road for which I can lay my path, so all I have to do is show up.  Be vulnerable.  Be thoughtful.  Be communicative.  Here and IRL.  Slow like honey… (thanks Fiona Apple).

 

Summer Breeze

Here we are.  The end of August, the end of Summer.  While in Socal it seems as if the summer never ends, there is a turn in the wind, the leaves, and the overall feeling that this season passes by more swiftly than the rest.

It’s been quite a few years that I’ve had to anticipate a long summer break, or revel in the excitement of school starting with fresh school supplies and back-to-school clothes.  Nevertheless I still go on a shopping spree for myself to celebrate September.  Along with a fresh haircut, new shoes and fresh pencils (we all should be using pencils more, no?).

I, too, have been spending the summer vacations as best I can.  A weekend here, long weekend there, a week in Hawaii, a beach trip here, beer garden there.  Hot summer nights lying in bed with just your underwear on, feeling the summer breeze pass by your skin that is sticky sweet with the season’s humidity.  Most nights we run the cool air that is central within our condo, but some nights, when it’s just cool enough to leave the windows open, we leave them wide open.  An occasional car passes by, but mostly – just the summer breeze through the plants that reside next to our windows.  They have been taken care of, and breathe in and out with the air that passes through them.  Nature gives off it’s own green scent that helps me sleep at night.  An almost silent, rotating tower fan brings in the breeze to softly cool us to sleep (and keep us soundly asleep).

This summer hasn’t been too bad.  Yes, hot.  Yes, a bit of humidity.  But unlike last year, we’ve had more of this Summer Breeze than in the past years.  It’s still been hot, but there’s been relief.  We are lucky to have central AC, but we also make it a point to open our windows as often as possible.  We also have taken advantage of our pool time and I have been wearing shorts and tank tops more than I ever have in my entire life.

Perhaps that’s what has been keeping me so cool… I finally took my pants off.

It hasn’t been an easy summer, to say the least.  This year started off on a weird foot and unfortunately it can take a whole year to get back to something better.  I’m grateful for all of the things I have gone through and am still dealing with (mentally and physically), but I’m ready to move onward into a better year to come.  Only a few months now and it will be 2017.  The way this world seems to turn faster each year, only makes me think that as we get older we lose a concept of time.  We get too busy, too occupied, too overwhelmed with things that weigh us down.  It takes a lot of time to overcome these things.  To overcome the negative aspects of life that just seem to get ahold as soon as we walk out our front doors.

Recently, I’ve been watching people move and change their lives to make a change.  Sometimes I think I need that change, desperately.  Sometimes I have to remind myself to be patient.  But then sometimes it feels like the easiest thing to do is just walk away.  I’m in a holding pattern, but this summer breeze has reminded me that most things eventually come to a close.  Seasons and events in life change, and at the very least – time doesn’t stop.  And it won’t stop for you.

Neither will this photo dump.  Beware, it’s the whole summer (in a nutshell of mosaics).

JUNE

 

JULY

AUGUST (so far…)

Summer.. she keeps passing me by.  But I’ll remember that Summer Breeze of 2016.. we’ll see what Fall and Winter bring..

Love, from – Pantless Sarah

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